Curbing Your GPU's Power Use: Is It Worthwhile?

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I think, considering those people using SLi and crossfire and higher end videocards, they don't really give a gat about how much elec. they are using. They can afford to buy two expensive PCBs, why would they care about extra 5~10 bucks per month? If poeple are focused on lower power consumption, they would go for lower performance components, arent they?
 

anttonij

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I guess the most important point of this review is that you can lower the cards voltage while running at stock speed. For example I'm running my GTX 460 (stock 675/1800@1.012V) at 777/2070@0.975V or if I wanted to use the stock speeds, I could lower the voltage to 0.875V. I've also lowered the fan speeds to allow the card to run almost silently even at full load.
 

Khimera2000

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@.@ there is no apple @.@

This is neat though :) I wonder if this article might inspire someone to make an application. Come on open source dont fail me now >.
 
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Could you do comparison of "the fastest VC" vs "entry level" and then show us how much money we might end up paying each month or day?
 

wrxchris

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@OvaCer

I have 2 gfx cards pushing 3 displays, but I'm all for saving watts wherever I can. Our society has advanced to the point where sustainability is a very important buzzword that is widely ignored by mainstream media and many corporations, and this ignorance trickles down to the mainstream like Reaganomics. Minuscule reductions such as 30w savings across hundreds of thousands if not millions of users adds up to a significant reduction in carcinogenic emissions and saves valuable resources for future consumption.
 

neiroatopelcc

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So when playing video, you risk your amd card going into uvd mode? What models does that apply to?
I want to know, cause for instance in a raid, I'd sometimes watch video content on another screen while waiting around for whatever there is to wait for. I already lose the crossfire performance because of window mode. I don't want to lose even more.

Does my ancient 4870x2 support uvd?
 

jestersage

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so... for the dual bios HD6900s, I can RBE one bios with my desired settings and just choose which bios to use before I power up my PC? hmmm... interesting.
 

feeddagoat

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[citation][nom]tommysch[/nom]This is like trying to save gas with a Ferrari.[/citation]

With proper engine mapping, good throttle control, weight reduction from materials used, loosing carpets, spare tyre, radio etc. and the aerodynamic design of a Ferrari it isn't as stupid as you think.
 
[citation][nom]OvaCer[/nom]I think, considering those people using SLi and crossfire and higher end videocards, they don't really give a gat about how much elec. they are using. They can afford to buy two expensive PCBs, why would they care about extra 5~10 bucks per month?[/citation]

At a full 8 hours per day, every day per month, you're talking $2.40 or basically the cost of one 12 oz. latte at Starbucks.
 

Lrxst

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This should all happen automatically with a number of parameters set by the user, like motherboards. To me, fan noise is the biggest enemy, and a small power savings takes back seat. One of the downsides I see is if some manufacturers used a new power saving architecture as an means to take shortcuts in cooling their cards properly at full throttle.
 

RazberyBandit

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Here I thought that my two 4000-series systems (4850 and 4890), which do not reduce memory frequency in either 2D or UVD mode, were truly behind the times. It appears even 6000-series cards don't do it while in UVD mode. That alone is something which could be enabled by AMD and it's board partners on all new cards by default. But, seeing as the default memory speed provides the best benchmark numbers, that's likely the reason why it's not done.

I typically use CCC's Overdrive to manually reduce memory speed while in 2D-mode, which works fine. Despite having been manually set, whenever it senses UVD playback (be it Flash, DivX, etc.) the memory frequency changes to it's default speed (1000MHz on the 4850, 975 on the 4890). Now I know why - once UVD mode is active, it's clocks reign supreme. It seems the only way to change that is to mod the BIOS.

When it comes to general users, the end result of all this tweaking seems to unfortunately only save rather minuscule amounts of power.
 

tommysch

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[citation][nom]feeddagoat[/nom]With proper engine mapping, good throttle control, weight reduction from materials used, loosing carpets, spare tyre, radio etc. and the aerodynamic design of a Ferrari it isn't as stupid as you think.[/citation]

Those are performance modifications, less gas consumption might be a side effect but it is not the goal.

The 599 is stupid, the 430 is godly.
 

dstln

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I think some of you people underestimate how much proper power usage can help. 100w costing $.01 per hour means $86.4/year, and that's a new high-end video card every three to four years :p Basically, it can pay for itself, which is always helpful. Obviously one cent an hour doesn't look like anything to the uninformed with a job, but it's just another way of making your money work for you in better ways just by being smarter.
 

dstln

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[citation][nom]gm0n3y[/nom]Or just save the hassle and buy a more efficient power supply. That has to be the easiest and best way to use less electricity.[/citation]
Most people here already probably have 80+ power supplies and the savings here could potentially beat going up to an 80+ gold. But I agree that it does eventually pay for itself, although the golds and platinums are a bit too expensive for me to switch yet.
 

arnawa_widagda

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Thanks for reading and the comments.

[citation][nom]neiroatopelcc[/nom]So when playing video, you risk your amd card going into uvd mode? What models does that apply to? I want to know, cause for instance in a raid, I'd sometimes watch video content on another screen while waiting around for whatever there is to wait for. I already lose the crossfire performance because of window mode. I don't want to lose even more. Does my ancient 4870x2 support uvd?[/citation]

If I recall correctly, the 4870 does include UVD (UVD2). So, it should be able to work.

[citation][nom]Lrxst[/nom]This should all happen automatically with a number of parameters set by the user, like motherboards. To me, fan noise is the biggest enemy, and a small power savings takes back seat. One of the downsides I see is if some manufacturers used a new power saving architecture as an means to take shortcuts in cooling their cards properly at full throttle.[/citation]

This was also what I was thinking. At the very least make it an option for those who would like to have a little quieter/cooler setup when gaming.

[citation][nom]mayankleoboy1[/nom]i would like to see power saving with VSYNC turned on/off.and where are the nvidia cards?[/citation]

Yes, we're looking into this. Unfortunately, unavoidable sampling and scheduling issues haven't allowed us to do a similar test with NVIDIA cards. I'm hoping to test the GTS 550 up to GTX 580.
 

uii

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The problem with reducing power through limiting clocks etc is you kill your min frames as well as your max. No one cares about max frame rates(well no one who has any sense), but a hit to min frame rates can turn a playable game into crap.

A better way to limit power is to use vsync. Why do you need 300 fps in a game, 75(or whatever your monitors refresh rate is) is completely fluid, so turn on vsync. You'll save power by not rendering stuff that doesnt even matter. Obviously this only saves power if your card is fast enough that its rendering extra frames that you wont even see.

Even that is too much however, if a game has a limit fps setting use it. 30 is completely smooth. Again its min framerates that matter and limiting your max framerate to about 30 will again save you lots of power.

The easiest thing they could do is add a global limit to frame rate in the driver. Id use it.

The reason i use framerate limiting however is not to save $ on power, its to save on heat. Less heat means the fan runs slower means i don't hear a hurricane.
 
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